Orna Raz

Day 109 of The War: Try To Enjoy Life Again

The National park in Ramat Gan last weekend
The National park in Ramat Gan last weekend

Last weekend in the Tel Aviv area, we had two glorious days with sunny weather and a temperature of 22°C. While my friends went on a trip to the Lower Galilee, I, as I’ve done since the protest against the Judicial Overhaul, chose not to join them.  was worried that I wouldn’t be able to attend the evening protest back in Tel Aviv. Thus I enjoyed the day close to home, and in the evening, participated in two demonstrations: one to remove Netanyahu from office in Habima Square and the other for the return of the hostages at the Kidnapped Square next to the museum.

When we arrived at the second demonstration, the rally for the return of the hostages, it was still early. We were waiting for some of the families to arrive (many of them spent the weekend in Caesarea protesting next to Netanyahu’s private home, although he never came out to talk to them), and the moderator on stage used the time to speak to the audience. As I mentioned in my previous post, he  didn’t approve of the words “shame” or “go” in relation to Netanyahu urged us to chant the word  “now” (as in “bring the hostages back now”). While there is nothing more urgent than bringing back the hostages now, this message is not in conflict with the just demand to remove Netanyahu from office.

I was also surprised by the other message of the moderator to the committed Israelis who were at the rally. Instead of commenting about the good weather, in the middle of the winter, that gave Israelis an opportunity to spend the day outdoors and appreciate again the beauty of our country, he insisted that it was impossible for us to enjoy the weather because of our fear for the destiny of our hostages in Gaza. I believe that it is our task to do both. In order to have the energy to keep protesting and do our utmost for our hostages, we have to try and enjoy nature and life. It keeps us sane and optimistic. One of the best pieces of advice for people who have suffered   a tragedy is to go outside, be surrounded by nature, and be reminded that there are good things awaiting them.

The moderator said that the people who attend the rally every week, give strength to the families. It was really good to hear that our presence makes a difference.  I suggest that those who speak at rallies on behalf of the families also remind the audience that we should take care of ourselves. By maintaining our well being we can keep our hope and continue the fight for the most important mission for our nation.

About the Author
I hold a PhD in English Literature from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, specializing in writing about issues related to women, literature, culture, and society. Having lived in the US for 15 years (between 1979-1994), I bring a diverse perspective to my work. As a widow, in March 2016, I initiated a support and growth-oriented Facebook group for widows named "Widows Move On." The group has now grown to over 2000 members, providing a valuable space for mutual support and understanding.
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